Friday, June 25, 2010

R.I.P. Garry Shider

I’m a bit late on picking up on this: the Telegraph obituaries yesterday had a write up for Garry Shider who lost his recent battle with cancer at only 56 on June 16th. The Daily Telegraph obits page is usually awash with brigadiers, wing-commanders, professors and the like so it was somewhat unusual to see an entry for Garry Shider. Someone at the Telegraph obviously has a good appreciation of the true talents in popular music. Vocalist and guitarist Garry was a key member of the Parliament/Funkadelic cosmic ride in the Seventies. You may not think you knew him, but if you have ever sung along to “One Nation Under A Groove” you were singing along with Garry.  

Back in 2007 I wrote a guest blog entry for Scholar at Souled On... It featured a number of tracks that have the repeatable ability to make me cry (for reasons various and unexplainable). I had this to say about a Parliament track that featured Garry Shider on vocals.             

As 1976 was coming to an end Parliament released “The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein”. It was the follow up to “Mothership Connection” and has somehow always remained under that album’s shadow. For my money though “Clones” is at least its equal. The funk is looser, the feel is more laid back, horn arrangements to die for abound, and there are some great vocal performances (for example just check Gary Shider on the track featured here). To my mind the more stripped down feel reveals a melancholic undercurrent on many of the tracks. Cut through the invented on-the-one-cosmic-science-thang world of Clinton and his cohorts and what you have is a really soulful album. The soulfulness struck me on first hearing, just after its release. Back then I wasn’t aware of the group’s history and previous incarnation as The Parliaments. Now of course it all makes sense.        

Parliament – Getten’ To Know You 1976

R.I.P. Garry Shider.

(Excuse me while I have another little cry).

1 comment:

Raggedy said...

Goodness! I now begin to understand what my parents meant when they said that at a certain age everyone you once knew seems to have just recently died.
Teddy P., Ali Woodson, Garry Shider ... It's getting scary.